Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Karinna's Cranberry Kiss

Happy Holidays!
It's the time of year to celebrate and gather with family and friends! This is a fabulous cocktail recipe that will impress all your guests. My cocktail uses the finest ingredients including one of my favorite Champagnes. The only thing you may be missing is the Mistletoe!

Karinna's Cranberry Kiss

Party Recipe: Serves about 10

1 1/2 cups Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups Cranberry Juice
1/2 cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Organic Agave Nectar
1 750 ML bottle Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé Champagne*
Fresh Organic Cranberries for Garnish

Stir together the Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice, Agave Nectar and Lime Juice. Cover and chill for about 1 1/2 hours. Serve into 10 Champagne flutes and top with Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé Champagne. Drop 3 fresh Cranberries into each flute and serve.

*M & C Nectar Imperial Rosé is a deliciously sweet, smooth, and fine Champagne. For those who prefer to emphasize the tartness of the Cranberry and citrus, I recommend using a brut like Veuve Clicquot's Brut Yellow Label and less Agave and sugar.

*Another great garnish idea is to skewer a sugar coated cranberry and lime rind to form a "mistletoe."

Single Cocktail Recipe: Serves one

1 1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1 1/4 oz Cranberry Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Organic Agave Nectar
3 oz Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé Champagne
Fresh Organic Cranberries

Pour Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice, Lime Juice, and Agave Nectar into shaker cup filled with ice. Shake and pour into Champagne flute, top off with Champagne. Drop 3 Cranberries into flute.

♥ K

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekly Call to Action: Choose Eco Bags over Plastic!

We're all doing a lot more shopping this season so now more than ever we need to be conscious of our choices! Recently Los Angeles County banned the use of plastic bags in unincorporated areas and Long Beach was the first to enact its own ban. Retailers are not allowed to give out single-use plastic bags. Not quite a victory in my opinion, but at the very least, it sets a new standard and brings this environmental danger to people's attention.

Why are plastic bags bad for the environment?
Travel down any highway or stop at any local park, and you will find plastic bags floating around, stuck in bushes and trees, or overflowing out of garbage receptacles. These plastic bags end up packing our landfills and threatening flora and fauna. Plastic bags are not biodegradable! They break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic but never return to nature in a sustainable way.

According to Heal the Bay, "Californians use 19 billion plastic bags every year. This generates over 147,000 tons of waste that ends up in landfills, local rivers and storm drains, and enters the ocean, killing marine life."

Plastics take hundred of years to break down and never return to an organic state. Did you know that millions of animals worldwide ingest the plastics that we throw in the trash? This is a photograph of a decaying Albatross; its body is halfway decomposed, yet the plastics in it's digestive system remain intact.

What are the benefits of using and reusing Eco-Bags?
Eco-bags are sturdy, reusable, and hold more groceries than the largest plastic bag you can find. Eco-bags are not made using petroleum and are usually not made with harsh chemicals. Most eco-bags are washable or can be wiped down. Myfavorite are made of Jute fiber from India, but Cotton or Canvas bags are also great alternatives to plastic!

At this year's Go Green Expo in LA, I met Nann Zinn, owner of Green-Eco Products who gave me several Jute bags which are so strong, I use them to hold the heavy items like cans and large bottles of juice! My eco-bags have saved hundreds of plastic bags from ending up in my home and in the trash.

In Anaheim, at the Natural Products Expo West, I met Stanley Joffe, President of Earthwise Bags, who introduced me to his "Veggie Bed." I have been using my Veggie Bed ever since and I couldn't imagine grocery-shopping without it. I take it to the Farmer's Markets and the grocery stores as well.

According to a recent article on Change.org, Plastic Bag Bans have been opposed by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) who supports companies like EXXON. ACC, the company which lobbied to keep BPA in baby bottles, is currently fighting the cities attempting to ban plastic bags. Since EXXON produces the disgusting ingredients that make those plastic bags, their billions in profits are threatened by the bag bans.

Are you Eco-Savvy?
At the Top of my List of Eco-Conscious Cities in SoCal is Carlsbad, California. Earlier this month, I interviewed several dozen shoppers at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Costco Wholesale on Palomar Airport Road, and an amazing 80% were holding eco-bags and stated that the environmental impact of plastic bags is ominous and requires our attention.

One lady, Mary, who was shopping with her husband, said "I really don't even notice it anymore and I don't think twice when I head to the store and take my eco-bags. I actually have a collection from all the stores where I shop! They are sturdy and much more convenient for me than those loud plastic bags."
Call to Action: What can we do individually to make a difference?
Each of us makes choices everyday. To help reduce the environmental impact of plastic bags, take eco-bags with you everytime you go shopping. Reuse those eco-bags in your home, in your car, and find other creative ways to use your bags. Bringing home groceries in eco-bags is so much cleaner because you just unload, fold them up, and pack them away in your pantry or back in your car!

So this holiday season, while you're swiping your plastic, make sure you're saying NO to Plastic Bags!

Chad Ochocinco's Ink Not Mink PSA

Ochocinco's setting records on the Football field as one of the Bengal's top Wide Receivers of all time, and now he's got a new strategy joining forces with Peta to condemn the Fur Industry's grossly cruel and inhumane methods. In a recent PSA, Ochocinco took off his shirt for an Ink, Not Mink ad which encourages his fans to:

"Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin, and Let Animals Keep Theirs!"

Watch Chad Ochocinco telling us his reasons for not wearing fur. This Holiday season, remember that your gift purchases, your fashion and style, and your dietary choices make a statement. What statement are you making?

Sign Peta's Pledge to be Fur-Free here!

Thank You! - ♥K

Getting Inked Vegan-style

My fellow vegan amiga Hayley Marie Norman, contributing writer for ThisDishIsVeg, recently wrote an awesome article on Hollywood Tattoo artist, James Spooner.

If you like a little ink without added cruelty, I recommend you read this article: Tattoo artist in Hollywood allows vegans to get inked the animal friendly way.

Follow xoHayleyMarie and thisdishisveg on Twitter!

Oh, and Remember.... INK NOT MINK.

- ♥K

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Weekly Call to Action: Pesticide Danger

The food we love so much looks Very Delicious on our plates at our favorite fancy restaurant or served up at our own dinner tables. But looks will be deceiving if our government allows irresponsible farmers to spray cancer causing chemicals on our fruits and vegetables, polluting not only the fruit flesh we will be consuming, but also the water supply, runoff into soil, and the air we breathe. This should be considered criminal.

Please take a moment to urge California Governor-Elect Jerry Brown to reverse Governor Schwarzenegger's last minute decision to allow Methyl Iodide to be sprayed on Strawberry fields as a pesticide.

Petitions by Change.orgStart a Petition »

What is Methyl Iodide? Methyl Iodide is a liquid chemical used as a pesticide and approved for use by the US EPA, which leaves me thinking, who is the EPA anyway and who is in their pockets? In a 2009 report, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) concluded that Methyl Iodide fumigation "results in significant health risks for workers and the general population."
Several Nobel Laureates have spoken up against the approval of methyl iodide by the EPA, including Roald Hoffman, a Nobel Prize winning chemist at Cornell University.

According to an article on Nature.com, Tokyo-based Arysta Lifescience owns the patent on producing Methyl Iodide and had $1.3 BILLION in revenues in 2008.

Make a difference in two ways! First, sign the above petition on Change.org or submit your own letter to Governpr-elect Jerry Brown. AND choose organic produce everytime you shop. In these next few months, more than ever, this is imperative! If California rejects the use of Methyle Iodide, the US EPA will consider to re-review the pesticide for approval earlier than their planned 2013 review date. The time is now! Please take action.

Thank you!
* Karinna *

Monday, December 6, 2010

Making an Impact

One of my missions in this lifetime is to make a positive impact on the world one person at a time, and show by example that being responsible inhabitants of our earth means making conscious choices everyday!

In addition to living an Eco-Responsible lifestyle, I also choose to live the rest of my life as a Vegan. Vegan means: not consuming animal products or by-products of any kind (no eggs, dairy, honey, gelatin -or meat/flesh), not purchasing or wearing animal skins, fur, or wool, and making the effort to use only cosmetics and pharmaceuticals not tested on animals in laboratories.

Through my website: KarinnaZarate.com, Twitter, or my Facebook page, I receive mail/messages/comments from my readers and viewers thanking me for the inspiration, recipe ideas, or just the positive motivation. Recently, I received a touching email from a reader who told me they stumbled upon my site through friends on facebook and spent an hour reading through my various articles and blog posts. "I had never thought about going green," she said, "sure I recycle and reuse things; i don't buy paper plates and cups and I separate my trash. But I had never thought about going vegan and really changing my lifestyle. All of the phrases and thoughts on your blog really hit me." She went on to tell me how a mother of one of her son's friends has cancer. She said that from now on, she will be thinking about everything she does at home and how it may be affecting the future of her children and her husband. "Your philosophy really wowed me, and really got me thinking."

I am very grateful for my readers' messages, it brings a personal level to what I do and makes everything worth it!

If I inspire others to try the Vegan lifestyle even just a few days out of the month, I know that these small changes will (#1) help our earth and environment immensely, (#2) bring more peace to each individual and the earth as a whole, and (#3) increase an individual's longevity and add years of health to their lifespan.

Vegans are peaceful, loving, caring, compassionate advocates of health, longevity, and responsibility. Open your minds, open your tastebuds, listen to your heart.

After all, we are--in essence--borrowing the earth and it's resources from our children and future generations. If you think of it in this way, perhaps you will take more time considering the effects of your actions on the earth, animals, and the environment.

Peace and Blessings during the Holidays!

♥ Karinna


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